Freedom Environment (F.E. = effie)

NEWS

especially announcements of new releases

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FE Home page > This FE NEWS page (for the free-Freedom-Environment subsystems)

  • 2016.nov.29 thru 2017.jan.09 :   Code additions for next release of FE 'tkGooies'.

    Like I did in the '2015.dec.27 thru 2016.apr.18' news note below, as I create new Tk scripts for the next release of FE 'tkGooies', I will be posting code via the 'tkGooies' Description and Code Samples page --- code that is not yet in the current release.

    In this news item, I will post notices of new code that is not yet in the '2016oct07' release of 'tkGooies'. This code will be in the toolchest menu-system of the next release --- which will probably be posted on the 'tkGooies' Download page in the winter or spring months of early 2017.

    Until that release, new code (and revised code) can be found at the following links:

    • NEW: tkReadOutlineFile_drawOutlineOnCanvas a utility to read an outline-data-file (such as longitude-latitude data in decimal degrees) and plot the outline on a Tk 'canvas' widget
      --- for a new 'MAPtools' toolchest.

    • NEW: tkReadOutlineFile_WriteFilteredFile a utility to read an outline-data-file (such as longitude-latitude data in decimal degrees) and write a subset of the data points to a new outline-data-file
      --- for a new 'MAPtools' toolchest.

    • NEW: tkFetchOSMtiles_atLatLon_oneTileAtVariousZoomLevels
      fetches OSM map tiles from an OSM server, for a given latitude-longitude and for several OSM 'zoom-levels' (OSM = Open Street Map) --- for a new 'MAPtools' toolchest.

    • NEW: tkMakePNGmapFromOSMtiles_aroundLatLon_OneZoomLevel_NxMtiles
      fetches rows and columns of OSM map tiles from an OSM server, for a given latitude-longitude and a given OSM zoom-level and for specified numbers of tiles around a 'central' tile --- for a new 'MAPtools' toolchest. (NxM indicates that N columns and M rows of OSM tiles are joined into one map, in a PNG image file.)

    • NEW: tkCircleChord_SubtendingAngleAtCenterIsTwiceAngleAtCircumference
      a Tk GUI for demonstrating that, for a given chord (or arc) in a circle, the subtending angle at the center of the circle is always twice the subtending angle whose vertex is on the circumference of the circle. The nicknames for this theorem are 'the inscribed angle theorem' or 'the central angle theorem'.
      This GUI is for the 'MATHed' sub-toolchest of the 'MATHtools' toolchest.

    • NEW: tkPtolemysTheorem_QuadrangleInCircle a Tk GUI for demonstrating that Ptolemy's equation holds no matter the configuration of a quadrangle inscribed in a circle.
      This GUI is for the 'MATHed' sub-toolchest of the 'MATHtools' toolchest.

    • I have several scripts in various stages of completion, to be posted on the 'tkGooies Code Samples' pages and included in the next release of 'tkGooies'. Check back here occasionally for new postings of links to new or revised code.

  • 2016 Nov 01:     New FE 'xpg' file-browser/searcher release.

    A new release of the FE 'xpg' system is now available via a new self-extracting install script on the 'xpg' download page --- release '2016nov01'.

    I have been using the 'xpg' utility almost daily for about 5 years --- since the last '2011oct05' release --- hence from 2011 to 2016. (And I had been using older versions of 'xpg' for about 10 years before 2011.) It has been serving me quite adequately. But it is about time for a few improvements 'around the edges'. There are three main changes in the new release that make it a little better utility:

    • If no filename arguments are provided to the 'xpg' command (or to a desktop icon representing the 'xpg' command), then a Tk file-selection dialog --- the 'tk_getOpenFile' GUI --- appears. Via this GUI, the user can select a file to browse.

    • A Tcl array --- 'aRtext' --- is provided in the code of the 'shofil.tk' script so that people can quite easily edit the 'shofil.tk' script to provide 'internationalization' of text in widgets such as buttons, labels, etc.

    • The full filenames of about 6 utility files (including 5 shell and Tcl-Tk scripts) were placed in variables in the 'Additional GUI Initialization' section at the bottom of the 'shofil.tk' script. This will make it easy for people to re-package this utility so that most of the auxiliary files (shell scripts, Tcl-Tk scripts, help file) can be put in a single directory with the 'shofil.tk' script.

    The last release of 'xpg' served me well for 5 years without any need for changes --- and I could have gone another 5 years without the changes above. The next release of 'xpg' may be quite a few years into the future --- but I DO have a couple of (low-priority) items on my coding 'to do' list for 'xpg':

    1. The 'Search (again)' option/button is a little 'flaky' when I use a 'special' character like a left or right brace --- { or } --- or a left or right bracket --- [ or ] --- or a dollar-sign in the search string entry field. I can usually make the search work by 'escaping' those special characters with a back-slash. But it would be nice to revisit the code and determine a way that such searches can work without having to use the back-slash character.

      (This problem probably has an 'ultimately-simple' coding solution that may involve using braces and 'eval' --- and maybe a certain escape or quote character. But I have too many higher priority items on my FE 'to do' list --- and this issue is not a sufficiently painful 'thorn in my side'.)

        I have an alternative in the 'ShowAllMatches (SAM)' option/button. I do not have to provide extra back-slash characters when doing a 'SAM' search. This difference in the mode-of-operation of the 'Search (again)' and 'ShowAllMatches (SAM)' options/buttons is mentioned in the 'shofil.hlp' xpg-help-description-file that is available via the 'Help' button on the 'xpg' GUI.

    2. There is some old, unused code in the 'shofil.tk' Tk GUI script, including some procs that are no longer used. It would be nice to cleanup the 'shofil.tk' script --- which is the guts of the 'xpg' utility.

      (One of the old, no-longer-used procs that I have left in the code is a 'block-by-block' file-reading proc, which was replaced by a 'line-feed-TO-line-feed' file-reading proc. I left this old proc in the code as example code for a different method of file reading.)

    For further information on the FE 'xpg' utility, see system descriptions on the download page (link above) and on the FE 'xpg' System Description page. Also use the 'Help' button on the 'xpg' GUI.

    I love the 'xpg' utility. Without it, my code development and web page development activities would be a 'chore'. I put this 'xpg' package 'out there' in case others find that 'xpg' is quite useful to them also.

  • 2016 Oct 07:   A new release of FE 'tkGooies'.

    A new release of the 'tkGooies' system is now available via a new self-extracting install script on the 'tkGooies' Download page --- release '2016oct07'.

    For information on the new release, see system descriptions on the download page (link above) and on the 'tkGooies' Description and Code Samples page.

    About eight new 'tkGooie' 'apps' have been added --- the ones indicated in the '2016.jul.07 thru 2016.oct.04' news item just below. Those new scripts are now available via the 'toolchests' of the 'tkGooies' system.

    I look forward to providing about ten more 'tkGooies' in a release around the beginning of 2017. For that release, I plan to go back to several of the Tk scripts and add some enhancements that I had outlined on some of the 'tkGooies' Description and Code Samples pages.

    I also hope to do some code cleanup and improvement of previously released Tk scripts, in future releases.

    The future years of 'tkGooies':
    I hope to add about 25 Tk scripts per year to the 'tkGooies' system. So I hope to have about 100 more Tk scripts added by the end of 2020. At that time, I hope that the 'tkGooies' toolchest system will be populated with enough scripts that the system will be 'filled out' enough to start showing what I had in mind for this system --- namely, a lot of relatively small apps that, taken together, add up to a wide range of capabilities.

    Eventually, I hope that 'tkGooies' will provide at least one or a few 'apps' that almost any person will find useful --- in the areas of

    • static image generation
    • animated image generation
    • image processing
    • plotting tools
    • 3D modeling tools
    • computer system monitoring
    • file system management
    • audio tools
    • video tools
    • math education
    • math and physics utilities
    • etc. etc.

    The combination of 'feNautilusScripts' and 'tkGooies' (and 'xpg') is meant to extend the philosophy of the Unix/Linux handy commands environment --- a system of many relatively small utilities that, taken together, can accomplish many useful tasks.

  • 2016.jul.07 thru 2016.oct.04:   Code additions for next release of FE 'tkGooies'.

    Like I did in the '2015.dec.27 thru 2016.apr.18' news note below, as I create new Tk scripts for the next release of FE 'tkGooies', I will be posting code via the 'tkGooies' Description and Code Samples page --- code that is not yet in the current release.

    In this news item, I will post notices of new code that is not yet in the '2016may18' release of 'tkGooies'. This code will be in the toolchest menu-system of the next release --- which will probably be posted on the 'tkGooies' Download page in the fall or winter of 2016.

    Until that release, new code (and revised code) can be found at the following links:

    • REVISED: The code at Primes Sieve in Resizable Image and Canvas with Scrollbars has been updated to add several features --- including better image-size control, and 3 new 'report' options. This updated code, available via the 'MATHed' sub-toolchest of the 'MATHtools' toolchest, will be included in the next release of 'tkGooies'.

    • NEW: Simulate Single Pendulum (no friction, nonlinear) using numerical integration via the Runge-Kutta 4th order (RK4) method--- a utility including a pendulum animation capability
      --- for the 'ODEtools' sub-toolchest of the 'MATHtools' toolchest

    • NEW: Simulate A Bouncing Ball using an algebraic 'velocity flipping' technique integrated with numerical integration --- a utility including an animation capability
      --- for the 'ODEtools' sub-toolchest of the 'MATHtools' toolchest

    • NEW: Animate Collision of Two Rigid Masses (1D) using an algebraic technique to determine the 'after-velocities' --- a utility including an animation capability
      --- for a new 'PHYSICStools' toolchest

    • NEW: Animate Collision of Two Sticking Masses (1D) using an algebraic technique to determine the 'after-velocity' of the combined mass --- a utility including an animation capability
      --- for a new 'PHYSICStools' toolchest

    • NEW: tkMovingText a utility to animate one or more lines of colored text on a background color or a background image --- with a choice of font

    • NEW: Simulate Population Growth subject to limits using numerical integration via the Runge-Kutta 4th order (RK4) method--- a utility including an x-y plot capability on a Tk 'canvas'
      --- for the 'ODEtools' sub-toolchest of the 'MATHtools' toolchest

    • NEW: tkVarignonsTheorem a utility to demonstrate that the midpoints of the sides of ANY quadrilateral make a parallelogram
      --- for the 'MathEd' sub-toolchest of the 'MATHtools' toolchest

    • NEW: tkNapoleonsTheorem a utility to demonstrate that connecting the center-points of 3 equilateral triangles placed on the 3 sides of ANY triangle will make an equilateral triangle
      --- for the 'MathEd' sub-toolchest of the 'MATHtools' toolchest

    • I have several scripts in various stages of completion, to be posted on the 'tkGooies Code Samples' pages and included in the next release of 'tkGooies'. Check back here occasionally for new postings of links to code.

  • 2016 May 18:   A new release of FE 'tkGooies'.

    A new release of the 'tkGooies' system is now available via a new self-extracting install script on the 'tkGooies' Download page --- release '2016may18'.

    For information on the new release, see system descriptions on the download page and on the 'tkGooies' Description and Code Samples page.

    About fourteen new 'tkGooie' 'apps' have been added --- the ones indicated in the '2015.dec.27 thru 2016.apr.18' news item just below. Those new scripts are now available via the 'toolchests' of the 'tkGooies' system.

    I look forward to providing about a dozen more 'tkGooies' in a release before the end of 2016. For that release, I plan to go back to several of the Tk scripts and add some enhancements that I had outlined on some of the 'tkGooies' Description and Code Samples pages.

    I also hope to do some code cleanup and improvement of previously released Tk scripts, in future releases.

    The future years of 'tkGooies':
    I hope to add about 30 Tk scripts per year to the 'tkGooies' system. So I hope to have about 100 more Tk scripts added by the end of 2019. At that time, I hope that the 'tkGooies' toolchest system will be populated with enough scripts that the system will be 'filled out' enough to start showing what I had in mind for this system --- namely, a lot of relatively small apps that, taken together, add up to a wide range of capabilities.

    Eventually, I hope that 'tkGooies' will provide at least one or a few things that almost any person will find useful --- in the areas of

    • static image generation
    • animated image generation
    • image processing
    • plotting tools
    • 3D modeling tools
    • computer system monitoring
    • file system management
    • audio tools
    • video tools
    • math education
    • math and physics utilities
    • etc. etc.

    The combination of 'feNautilusScripts' and 'tkGooies' (and 'xpg') is meant to extend the philosophy of the Unix/Linux handy commands environment --- a system of many relatively small utilities that, taken together, can accomplish many useful tasks.

  • 2015.dec.27 thru 2016.apr.18:   Code additions for next release of FE 'tkGooies'.

    Near the bottom of the '2015 Nov 14' and '2015 Oct 16' news items below, I pointed out that as I create new Tk scripts for the next release of FE 'tkGooies', I will be posting code via the 'tkGooies' Description and Code Samples page --- code that is not yet in the current release.

    In this news item, I will post notices of new code that is not yet in the '2015dec11' release of 'tkGooies'. This code will be in the toolchest menu-system of the next release --- which will probably be posted on the 'tkGooies' Download page in spring or summer of 2016.

    Until that release, new code (and revised code) can be found at the following links:

    1. NEW: draw an N-sided POLYGON - with color-shaded, 3D-like edges
      (such as a triangle, square, pentagon, hexagon, septagon, octagon, nonagon, decagon, ...)
      --- for the 'IMAGEtools' group

    2. REVISED: The code at draw a 3-color-gradient ISOSCELES-TRIANGLE - with color-shaded, 3D-like edges has been updated to 'fix' the 'color-shading-metric' so that 'crisper' shaded edges can be achieved. This updated code, in the 'IMAGEtools' group, will be included in the next release of 'tkGooies'.

    3. NEW: draw a RADIAL-SINUSOID SHAPE - with color-shaded, 3D-like edges
      --- for the 'IMAGEtools' group

    4. NEW: A 'gnuplot' Front-End for generating LOG or LOG-LOG XY-plots -
      from a TEXT FILE OF DATA COLUMNS - from 2 or 3 columns of data
      selected from any columns of data in the file --- for the 'PLOTtools' group

    5. NEW: tkSpeakText_with_espeak --- a Tk GUI Front End for the 'espeak' command
      --- for both the 'AUDIOtools' and the 'TEXTtools' groups

    6. NEW: tkPlayChords_withSox --- a Tk GUI Front End for the SoX 'play' command
      --- for the 'AUDIOtools' group

    7. NEW: Two Sinusoidal Waves Merging- from two Point Sources
      --- for an 'IMAGEanimations' subgroup of the 'IMAGEtools' group

    8. NEW: tkDegreesMinSecConvertSelect
      --- for the 'SELECTORtools' group

    9. NEW: Brownian Motion Simulation - an Animation
      --- for an 'IMAGEanimations' subgroup of the 'IMAGEtools' group

    10. NEW: 'tkCircleCircumferenceByPolygons' - a Tk GUI for calculating pi
      by computing circumferences of inscribed and circumscribing polygons on a circle
      (an interactive demo of Achimedes' method of approximating the circumference of a circle,
      with 'regular' polygons) --- for a 'MATHed' subgroup of the 'MATHtools' group

    11. NEW: 'tkLendersCompoundInterestDreamCrushed'   ('e' -- 2.71828.... -- is the limit)
      --- for the 'MATHtools' group

    12. NEW: 'tkCompoundedGrowthCalculator' (and compounded decline calculator)
      --- for the 'MATHtools' group

    13. NEW: a Site Latitude-Longitude Selector (for cities, countries, national parks, ...)
      --- for the 'SELECTORtools' group

    14. NEW: An Atom (and property) Selector
      (where the property may be atomic-weight, density, melting point, boiling point, etc.)
      --- for the 'SELECTORtools' group

    15. NEW: tkVisualizer_RadialLines
      --- for the 'IMAGEanimations' subgroup of the 'IMAGEtools' group

    16. I have several scripts in various stages of completion, to be posted on the 'tkGooies Code Samples' pages and included in the next release of 'tkGooies'.

  • 2015 Dec 11:   A new release of FE 'tkGooies'.

    A new release of the 'tkGooies' system is now available via a new self-extracting install script on the 'tkGooies' Download page --- release '2015dec11'.

    For information on the new release, see system descriptions on the download page and on the 'tkGooies' Description and Code Samples page.

    Some hi-def system-meter tools and some gnuplot-based plot tools, which were mentioned in the two news items below, are now available via the 'toolchests' of the 'tkGooies' system.

    I look forward to providing many more 'tkGooies' in 2016 releases.

  • 2015 Nov 14:   A new release of 'feNautilusScripts'.

    A new release of 'feNautilusScripts' --- dated 2015nov14 --- is posted to the 'feNautilusScripts' download page. There are only a couple of new scripts (added to about 450 scripts) since the last release almost a year ago (2014dec16).

    There is one new script in the 'SPACEtools' group:

    • 1a_anyfile4Dir_SPACE-USEDby-SUBDIRS_nLEVS_SIZEsort_find-d-maxdepth-du-s-awk.sh

    For any chosen directory, this script shows the size of subdirectories --- up to N-levels down. This script is very helpful when you are running out of disk space and need to find the directories that are consuming the most space.

    I found this script is very helpful when I accumulate deep directory hierarchies containing thousands of files under my home directory. Rather than showing ALL subdirectories of my home directory, this script shows the 'top' ones. I found it very helpful when I used an N of about 7 or 8. I was able to 'zero in' on which directories would give me the most payback in disk space, by removing or moving files from those directories.

    Another new script was put in the 'CHANGEfiles' group:

    • 04_multiGZfiles_UNCOMPRESS_gunzip.sh

    I had a large number of '.gz' compressed files (about 40 compressed VRML files) that I wanted to uncompress. I could simply highlight all the '.gz' files in a directory and apply this script to them --- to quickly 'un-zip' them all.

    Other than adding these two new scripts, the only other changes were slight changes made to some scripts in the 'IMAGEtools' group. Small changes were made in the text in a 'zenity' prompt in the following 2 scripts --- to clarify the prompt by adding some example responses.

    • 09_multi-img-files_CROP_convert-crop-repage.sh

    and in the 'imgANIGIFtools' subgroup of 'IMAGEtools':

    • ani02c_multi-jpg-png-gif-files_MAKEoneAniGIF_convert-delay-loop.sh

    Some minor changes were made to about 6 other 'IMAGEtools' scripts, including several in the 'imgTRANSPtools' subgroup which deals with transparent GIF and PNG files.

    As I have noted in the past couple of announcements of new releases of 'feNautilusScripts', the 'feNautilusScripts' FE subsystem (consisting of more than 450 shell scripts) has reached a 'mature' state. I am not making many changes or additions. In this release, I made changes to less than 2% of the 'feNautilusScripts'.

    While there are definitely some scripts that I should re-visit and improve, they are not scripts that I have used lately. The ones that I use on a daily and weekly basis have reached a quite mature state. There will probably NOT be another release of 'feNautilusScripts' for many months.

    -- Other News --

    I am continuing to work on a new (second) release of the 'tkGooies' system. Although the 'tkGooies' that I am adding are not available yet in a new self-extracting install script on the 'tkGooies' Download page, I have posted the code of several new 'hi-def meters' utilities at the 'tkGooies' Description and Code Samples page --- specifically via the SYSTEMtools CODE page.

  • 2015 Oct 16:   Soon-to-be new releases of 'feNautilusScripts' and FE 'tkGooies'.

    It has been about 10 months since the last release of 'feNautilusScripts' and about 7 months since the first-time release of FE 'tkGooies'. I want to say that I plan to post new releases of these 2 systems before the end of 2015.

    As I have noted in the past couple of announcements of new releases of 'feNautilusScripts', that FE subsystem (consisting of more than 450 shell scripts) has reached a 'mature' state. I am not making many changes or additions. For the next release, I will have just a couple of new scripts and minor changes to about 4 scripts --- in other words, changes to less than 2% of the 'feNautilusScripts'.

    I have been working on a reorganization of the 'toolchests' of the 'tkGooies' system. I was taken away from development work on 'tkGooies' for a major part of 2015 due to various home maintenance projects and some vacation trips. But I have re-started development of 'tkGooie' scripts. I have posted several Tk scripts that are 'front-ends' to the 'gnuplot' command.

    Although the 'tkGooies' that I am adding are not available yet in a new self-extracting install script on the 'tkGooies' Download page, I have posted the code of the several new 'gnuplot' front-end scripts at the 'tkGooies' Description and Code Samples page --- specifically via the PLOTtools CODE page.

    I look forward to providing the install script for the second release of the 'tkGooies' system before the end of 2015.

  • 2015 Mar 09:   A new FE subsystem - first release of 'tkGooies'.

    A first-time release of the FE 'tkGooies' subsystem --- dated 2015mar09 --- is posted to the 'tkGooies' Download page.

    There is a lot of description (including sample GUI screenshots) on the 'tkGooies' download page. For more description (and screenshots of the 'toolchest-menus' of the 'tkGooies' system), see the 'tkGooies' Description and Code Samples page.

    The home page and the Overview and Downloads pages have been updated with info on the 'tkGooies' system.

  • 2014 Dec 16: ( new release of 'feNautilusScripts' )

    A new release of 'feNautilusScripts' --- dated 2014dec16 --- is posted to the 'feNautilusScripts' download page.

    There are about a dozen new scripts since the last release (2014jun09) --- mostly in the 'IMAGEtools' group:

    Some new scripts, mainly for processing JPEG files, are

    • 01_multi-img-files_CONVERT-TOjpg_convert-quality-strip.sh
    • 01_multi-img-files_CONVERT-TOjpg_convert-quality-strip-samplingfactor-filter.sh
    • 01_multi-img-files_REMOVEtext_convert-strip.sh

    Some new scripts, for PNG files, are

    • 01_multi-img-files_CONVERT-TOpng_convert-colors-prompt.sh
    • 01_multi-img-files_CONVERT-TOpng_convert-quality-prompt.sh
    • 01b_multi-png-files_COMPRESSpng_pngcrush-bit-depth.sh
    • 01b_multi-png-files_COMPRESSpng_pngcrush-brute.sh

    A new script, for making a PDF file from an image file, is

    • 01_multi-img-files_CONVERT-TOpdf_convert-colorspace-CMYK.sh

    A new script, to change the contrast of an image file (and enhance it), is

    • 00_multi-img-files_CONTRAST_convert-enhance-contrast.sh

    Rather than add any more scripts to the main 'IMAGEtools' directory, I added a couple of JPEG-making scripts to the 'imgCONVERTother' subdirectory of the 'IMAGEtools' directory:

    • 01_multi-img-files_CONVERT-TOjpg_convert-quality-strip-enhance.sh
    • 01_multi-img-files_CONVERT-TOjpg_convert-quality-samplingfactor.sh

    These are slight variations on the JPEG scripts above.

    In the 'CHANGEfiles' group of scripts, I added the script

    • 05_oneTextFile_FOLDlines_fold.sh

    In the 'EXAMINEfiles' group of scripts, I added the scripts

    • 04a_1file_SHOW-STR-MATCH-LINES_awk.sh
    • 04b_1file_SHOW-RANGE-OF-LINES_awk.sh

    I also improved or fixed a few scripts:

    I added a parameter to the GIF-making script to turn off dithering, in

    • 01_multi-img-files_CONVERT-TOgif_convert-palette-size.sh

    I fixed a bug in a script that makes a '.mp4' movie file from an animated GIF file, in the 'imgANIGIFtools' subdirectory of the 'IMAGEtools' directory:

    • ani08c_1ani-gif_CONVERTto_MP4-H264-noaudio_1loop_convert-coalesce-ffmpeg-an.sh

    Rather than trying to explain these scripts here, I refer you to the copious comments in those scripts.

    As has been mentioned in several news items below in the past year or so, the 'feNautilusScripts' subsystem has been quite stable --- no more drastic changes in the script naming convention --- and not many enhancements/fixes/additions being made to the sub-directories (sub-menus) of FE Nautilus Scripts.

    Adding a dozen scripts to the 450-plus scripts is only a 2 percent change in the number of scripts in feNautilusScripts.

    Most of my efforts in 2014 have been toward the creation of stand-alone Tk GUI scripts for the coming 'tkGooies' system. I have been making the code of the individual scripts available via the FE tkGooies Description page.

    I had planned to release, before the end of 2014, a menu system that provides these stand-alone 'tkGooie' scripts via 'toolchests' --- like the 'toolchests' of the feAppMenus system. The guiding principle in the 'tkGooies' system is that the user will have the option of using the scripts in a stand-alone mode, in addition to executing them via the toolchest system.

    Unfortunately, various things came up in the last half of 2014, and I have not readied the 'tkGooies' toolchest system for release. I hope to do that before the middle of 2015.

  • 2014 Jun 09: ( new release of 'feNautilusScripts' )

    A new release of 'feNautilusScripts' --- dated 2014jun09 --- is posted to the 'feNautilusScripts' download page.

    There are just a few new scripts since the last release (2013feb26), mostly in the 'IMAGEtools' group:

    • ani07_1ani-gif_CHG-DELAY_convert-adjoin-coalesce-convert-delay-loop.sh in the 'imgANIGIFtools' subgroup of the 'IMAGEtools' group

    • 01_multi-img-files_CONVERT-TOpng_optColor2Transparent_convert-transparent-fuzz.sh in the 'IMAGEtools' group

    • 09_multi-img-files_CROP_convert-crop-repage.sh in the 'IMAGEtools' group

    • 05_anyfile_MOUSE-4and5toPASTE-G300_xinput_set-button-map.sh 'MOUSEtools' subgroup of the 'zMORE' group

    The script names indicate the input(s) and purpose of the scripts. For example, the last script is to allow me to quickly map the two buttons (labeled 'G4' and 'G5') on the upper left of my Logitech G300 mouse to a 'paste' operation, via use of the 'set-button-map' option of the 'xinput' command.

    Most other changes (besides the new scripts) are slight changes in the name of scripts or minor code changes. The vast majority of the 450-plus scripts of 'feNautilusScripts' are unchanged.

    As has been mentioned in several news items below in the past year or so, the 'feNautilusScripts' subsystem has been quite stable --- no more drastic changes in the script naming convention --- and not many enhancements/fixes/additions being made to the sub-directories (sub-menus) of FE Nautilus Scripts.

    Most of my efforts in 2014 have been toward the creation of stand-alone Tk GUI scripts for the coming 'tkGooies' system. I have started making the code of the individual scripts available via the FE tkGooies Description page.

    Before the end of 2014, I plan to release a menu system that provides these stand-alone 'tkGooie' scripts via 'toolchests' --- like the 'toolchests' of the feAppMenus system. But the user will have the option of using the scripts in a stand-alone mode, instead of via the toolchest system.

  • 2014 Apr 30:   ( updated code samples on 'FE Nautilus Scripts' pages )

    For several years now the FE Nautilus Scripts 'Description' page has offered some samples of code for scripts in the 'feNautilusScripts' subsystem --- BUT those samples were very much out of date (written around 2011).

    For almost a year now, the 'feNautilusScripts' subsystem has been quite stable --- no more drastic changes in the script naming convention --- and not many enhancements/fixes/additions being made to the sub-directories (sub-menus) of FE Nautilus Scripts.

    The current FE Nautilus Scripts now accept filenames that are selected by the user via the Nautilus (or Caja) file manager using a 'for-loop-without-in' technique that is described on the FE Nautilus Scripts 'Download' page. (See the 'man bash' quote on that page.) The old script-samples did not use that 'for-loop-without-in' technique and, hence, were quite out of date.

    So I have updated the code-samples pages that are offered via the FE Nautilus Scripts 'Description' page. Most of the 450-plus scripts are offered now on the code-samples pages.

    Of course, the easiest way to gain access to ALL 450-plus FE Nautilus Scripts is to use the FE Nautilus Scripts 'Download' page. The 450-plus scripts can be quickly downloaded and installed by following the directions on the Download page.

  • 2013 Sep 10:   ( no new releases, but working on some )

    I have not posted any news here for about 5 months. That is a sure indicator that there have been no new releases of FE subsystems for 5 months.

    But that does not mean that the FE subsystems have gone dormant. Quite the contrary. I have been busy coding about 50 stand-alone Tcl-Tk scripts which are 'end user utilities' in the areas of image generation, image processing, plotting, computer monitoring, 3D modeling, and more.

    These 'stand-alone' Tcl-Tk scripts will be packaged into a menu-driven 'toolchests' system, like the 'feAppMenus' and 'feHandyTools' systems --- with a major difference being that these 'stand-alone' scripts can be put in other directories of the user's choice and executed without having to change the scripts (because they are not bundled together in such a way as to use shared, Tcl-Tk code in 'include' files).

    I hope to have that system --- to be called 'tkGooies' --- ready for a first release around the spring of 2014 --- or, hopefully, no later than the the fall of 2014.

    On other FE subsystems:

    I will probably provide a new release of the 'feNautilusScripts' system on its download page, around the middle of 2014.

    As I have mentioned in a couple of news items below, the architecture of the 'feNautilusScripts' system has arrived at a pretty mature state. I do not forsee making any major architecture changes. And ...

    I have not been adding more than a couple of new scripts per month on average. The next release will include a few new scripts and a couple of enhancements and fixes to one or two scripts. So there will be no major change in the next release of 'feNautilusScripts'.

    As I have been busy doing coding for the first release of the 'tkGooies' system, I have not been doing any work on the other FE subsystems. The main reason that I have some changes for the 'feNautilusScripts' system is because I use it everyday --- on my main desktop computer and on my main netbook computer.

    'feNautilusScripts' is a bundle of over 450 handy 'little' utilities --- at least 10 of which I use almost every day. And many of those scripts call on the FE 'xpg' text-file-browse/search utility to show text output. So I use 'xpg' almost daily. 'xpg' is another 'mature' FE subsystem.

  • 2013 Mar 15:   ( initial 'alpha' release of 'feHappyScripts' )

    An initial 'alpha' release of 'feHappyScripts' --- dated 2013mar08 --- is posted to the 'feHappyScripts' download page.

    'feHappyScripts' basically consists of 2 main GUI's --- one file-selector GUI for selecting one or more files, and a second script-selector GUI for selecting a script to apply to the files.

    These 2 GUI's are designed to work in conjunction with the 'feNautilusScripts' system, but they could work with anyone's set of Nautilus scripts.

    'feHappyScripts' can also be applied to scripts that work with the Caja file manager, a fork of Nautilus. Caja is part of the MATE project which is a spin-off of the Gnome 2 desktop environment.

    'feHappyScripts' offers a way of executing Nautilus scripts as the Nautilus file manager crumbles away in the hands of the Gnome 3 developers.

    'feHappyScripts' also offers a backup way of running Nautilus scripts in case the Caja file manager (or its Nautilus scripts capability) goes bye-bye.

    Note that the combination of 'feNautilusScripts' and 'feHappyScripts' offer the users of non-Gnome desktop environments --- such as KDE, Xfce, LXDE, Enlightenment, etc. --- a way of experiencing the powers and potential of Nautilus scripts.

    For more details, see the 'feHappyScripts' download page. Note that this 2013mar08 release is an 'alpha' release. The file-selector GUI does not handle symbolic links robustly --- yet. If you need to get to directories or files that are the target of symbolic links, you can navigate to the target of the symbolic links.

    I plan to have symbolic links handled robustly before the end of 2013 --- or, at least, by mid-2014. In the meantime, you can go ahead and experience the goodness of the 500-plus 'feNautilusScripts' --- accessed via the 'feHappyScripts' GUI's.

    The ability to embellish the 'feHappyScripts' GUI's --- with background images (a 'background theme') on the labels and buttons of the GUI's --- will be coming in the 2014 time frame.

  • 2013 Feb 26:   ( new release of 'feNautilusScripts' )

    A new release of 'feNautilusScripts' --- dated 2013feb26 --- is posted to the 'feNautilusScripts' download page.

    There are a variety of changes and additions --- a relatively small number of changes-and-additions compared to past releases.

    The most extensive changes are in the '3Dtools', 'IMAGEtools', and 'VIDEOtools' groups of scripts --- the 'media tools'.

    In the '3Dtools' group of the 'zMORE' group, the following 3D file conversion scripts were improved with much better help in 'zenity --info' popup windows:

             00_one3Dfile_CONVERT_ivcon_2004.sh
             00_one3Dfile_CONVERT_ivread_2002.sh 
             00_oneSTLfile_CONVERT_admesh.sh 
             

    In addition, a 'SOURCE' directory of the '3Dtools' directory now contains source code and build scripts for the 'ivcon', 'ivread', and 'admesh' programs. (The compiled binaries of these open source programs are provided as 'hidden' files --- a dot-prefix --- in the '3Dtools' directory.)

    In addition, some 3D file viewer programs --- such as 'ivview', 'paraview', 'g3dviewer', 'glc_player', and 'whitedune' --- are provided as 'hidden' files --- a dot-prefix --- in the '3Dtools' directory. This is just in case those executables might run with the dynamically-shared libraries on a user's computer, so that the following '3Dtools' scripts may run.

             01_one3Dfile_SHOW_ivview.sh
             01_one3Dfile_SHOW_g3dviewer.sh
             01_one3Dfile_SHOW_glc_player.sh
             01_one3Dfile_SHOW_Paraview.sh
             01_one3Dfile_SHOW_whitedune.sh
             

    In the 'IMAGEtools' group, the following scripts were improved or added --- mainly to provide more ways of viewing image files scattered throughout subdirectories of a given directory:

             ./IMAGEtools/ImgsDISPLAYtools/00_multi-level-BIG-JPEG-files_SLIDESHOW_find-f-file-grep_files-list-to-ONE-eog-s.sh 
             ./IMAGEtools/ImgsDISPLAYtools/03_multi-level-JPEG-GIF-PNG-files_SLIDESHOW_find-f-file-egrep_files-list-to-eog-s.sh 
             ./IMAGEtools/ImgsDISPLAYtools/00_one-level-JPEG-files_SLIDESHOW_ls-file-grep_files-list-to-ONE-eog-s.sh 
             ./IMAGEtools/ImgsDISPLAYtools/01_multi-level-PNG-files_DISPLAY_find-f-file-grep_for-loop-eog.sh
             ./IMAGEtools/ImgsDISPLAYtools/01_multi-level-PNG-files_DISPLAY_find-f-file-grep_files-list-to-ONE-eog.sh
             ./IMAGEtools/ImgsDISPLAYtools/01_multi-level-JPEG-files_DISPLAY_find-f-file-grep_for-loop-eog.sh 
             ./IMAGEtools/ImgsDISPLAYtools/01_multi-level-JPEG-files_DISPLAY_find-f-file-grep_files-list-to-ONE-eog.sh 
             ./IMAGEtools/ImgsDISPLAYtools/01_multi-level-GIF-files_DISPLAY_find-f-file-grep_for-loop-eog.sh 
             ./IMAGEtools/ImgsDISPLAYtools/01_multi-level-GIF-files_DISPLAY_find-f-file-grep_files-list-to-ONE-eog.sh 
    
             ./IMAGEtools/imgCOLORtools/color00_1imgfile_THRESHOLD2WhiteBlackUnchanged_convert-black-white-threshold.sh
             

    In the 'VIDEOtools' group, the following scripts were improved or added --- mainly to provide more ways of viewing movie files scattered throughout subdirectories of a given directory:

             ./VIDEOtools/02d_multi-level-movie-files_PLAY-Flash-MPEG-AVI_find-f-file-egrep-mplayer-fs.sh 
             ./VIDEOtools/02c_multi-level-movie-files_PLAY-Flash-MPEG-AVI_find-f-file-egrep-ffplay-stats.sh
     
             ./VIDEOtools/02b_1movieFile_PLAY_xterm-mplayer-loop-fs.sh
    
             ./VIDEOtools/vidsJOINtools/vjM4_multi-mp4-files_JOIN_MP4Box_PRELIM.sh 
             ./VIDEOtools/vidsJOINtools/vjM5_multi-mp4-files_JOIN_mencoder_PRELIM.sh 
             

    The following 'TEST' scripts were added or updated in the 'DVD-CD-ISO-USBtools' group of the 'zMORE' group.

             ./TEST/09_anyfile_MOUNT-CDorDVD-TO-media-subdir_devkit-disks-mkdir-mount-iso9660.sh 
             ./TEST/08_anyfile_MOUNT-USB-FAT-DRIVE_fdisk-l-mkdir-mount.sh 
             

    The first of these 2 scripts helps me when I put a CD or DVD in a CD or DVD drive, and the system does not seem to automatically detect it and mount it.

    The following script was added to the 'FILESlists' group --- to show file-types of all files under a given directory.

             F2e_anyfile4Dir_LIST-FILES-all_allLEVS_FILE-TYPES_find-d_for-file.sh 
             

    That script-name is a bit cryptic. I will change the script-name in the next release to clarify the intent and output of the script --- a name such as

             F2e_anyfile4Dir_LIST-FILES-allLEVS_SHOW-FILE-TYPES_find-d_for-file.sh 
             

    For your reading enjoyment, here is a 'snapshot' listing of the 500-plus 'feNautilusScripts' script names in the '2013feb26' release.

    Check back here in a few months to get the next release of FE Nautilus Scripts --- probably a few more 'scattered' additions and changes. These scripts can give your Gnome-Nautilus or MATE-Caja installation a life-altering power-boost.


  • 2012 Oct 22:   ( 'feHappyScripts' & 'feFileMan' subsystems coming )

    Two new FE subsystems are in the works --- 'feHappyScripts' and 'feFileMan'. A preliminary description of these systems --- and their raison-de-etre --- is in an introduction section on download pages that I have started for these 2 systems --- although they are not yet available for download.

    Go to the FE Downloads page and click on the 'feHappyScripts' and 'feFileMan' links at the top of that page.


  • 2012 Oct 03:   ( new release of 'feNautilusScripts' )

    A new release of 'feNautilusScripts' --- dated 2012oct02 --- is posted to the 'feNautilusScripts' download page.

    There are a variety of changes and additions. The most extensive change is the renaming of many of the 'AUDIOtools' and 'VIDEOtools' 'play' scripts to give a better idea of what they are intended to do --- and how they do it.

    For example, some scripts build a 'playlist' file from the user-selected files in a directory and invoke ONE instance of a player on the playlist file. Other scripts pass a string of the selected filenames to a player. And still other scripts accept a file of 'relative'-filenames and invoke the player once for each filename in the file. The latter type of script allows for users to build their own playlist files, and the files can be in sub-directories of the directory in which the relative-filenames-file lies.

    There are a few new groups of utilities in the 'zMORE' continuation-of-groups menu:

    • APT-DPKGtools
    • GNOMEtools
    • COPYtools

    The new scripts in these groups are

                 01_anyfile_SEARCH-for-DEBIAN-PACKAGES_apt-cache-search.sh
                 00_anyfile_LIST-GNOME-CONFIG-DB-KEYS_gconftool.sh
                 02_anyfile_COPY-DIRSonly-NOfiles_rsync-include-exclude-dir1-dir2.sh
                 03_anyfile_COPY-SPECIFIED-FILES-byMASK_rsync-include-exclude-dir1-dir2.sh 

    You can see the comments in those scripts for details on their purpose and method of implementation --- and how to use them.

    There are some new scripts in the 'XWINCOLORtools' group in the 'zMORE' menu:

     
                 00_anyfile_SHOW-XCOLORS-NEAR-RGB_showrgb-grep-nawk-sort.sh 
                 00_anyfile_SHOW-XCOLORS-MORE-RorGorB-SORTED_showrgb-grep-awk-sort.sh 
                 00_anyfile_SHOW-XCOLORS-BRIGHTNESSorRorGorB-SORTED_showrgb-grep-awk-sort.sh  

    They do what the name implies. For example, the first script, for a given RGB triplet (0-255), like 120 150 73, shows ALL the X-colornames, sorted according to how 'close' they are to the user-specified RGB color.

    The 2nd script shows the X-colornames with more R than G or B, sorted --- or more G than R or B, sorted --- or more B than R or G, sorted.

    The 3rd script shows the X-colornames sorted by their 'brightness' --- or sorted by amount of R (red) --- or sorted by amount of G (green) --- or sorted by amount of B (blue).

    There is a new script in the 'HOSTCONFIGqueries' group in the 'zMORE' menu:

                  01_anyfile_LIST-LOCALES_locale-setxkbmap.sh 

    This script shows some 'locale' info for the host computer.

    There is a new script in the 'DVD-CD-ISO-USBtools' group in the 'zMORE' menu:

             01_anyfile_CHG-VOLUME-LABEL-of-USB-FAT-DRIVE_sudo-fdisk-l-mlabel.sh

    The name of this script is pretty self-explanatory --- it is intended to put a different Volume label on USB 'sticks' --- for example, 'Lexar8GB' instead of 'Lexar'.

    There are a couple of new scripts in the '3Dtools' group in the 'zMORE' menu:

                 06_1file_REMOVE-BLANK-LINES_wc-while-read.sh 
                 07_1file_ADD-CNT-inCol1_wc-while-read.sh  

    These are intended to help with re-formatting 3D data files into another format.

    A script in the 'SPACElists' group ---

             02_anyfile4Dir_SPACE-USEDby-SUBDIRS_allLEVS_SIZEsort_du-awk.sh' 
    --- was fixed so that the complete name of sub-directories is shown, whenever a sub-directory name has embedded spaces.

    There are a couple of new file-manager (FM) scripts in the 'FILESlists' group:

                FMa_anyfile_START-NAUTILUS-at-selected-DIR_radiolist-nautilus.sh
                FMb_anyfile_START-CAJA-at-selected-DIR_radiolist-caja.sh  

    These two are for people who have both the Gnome-Nautilus and MATE-Caja file managers installed. If you are positioned in a directory with one file manager, you can start the other file manager, positioned at that directory, with one of these scripts.

    There is a new script in the 'CHANGEfiles' group:

                02_multiFiles_RENAME-REPLACEfirstDOTinFilenames_sed-mv.sh 

    This script is intended to help rename batches of files that have more than one 'dot' in their names --- that is, more than the one at the end of the filename, at the 'extension'. As the name implies, the script replaces the first encountered dot (starting from the left) with a user-specified character. If there are more dots to be replaced, just apply the script again.

    There is a new script in the 'IMAGEtools' group:

               08_multi-img-files_ADD-BORDER_identify-convert-xc-composite-gravity.sh 

    This script adds a border, of a user-specified color and width, to one or more image files.


    That about covers the changes. (I may have overlooked a few.) The fact that the changes are so 'scattered' is, I think, a sign that the 'feNautilusScripts' are reaching a good level of maturity.

    Previous releases of 'feNautilusScripts' were dealing with a lot of additions and changes to the 'IMAGEtools' and 'VIDEOtools' groups of scripts. Those two groups are now settled down with a wealth of scripts and relatively few in a PRELIM or TEST mode now.

    Hopefully, most of the major, sweeping changes are behind me.

    Check back here in a few months to get the next release --- probably 'scattered' additions and changes.


  • 2012 Jun 26:   ( new release of 'feNautilusScripts' )

    In the previous news item (2012may30 below), I mentioned that I would be testing-enhancing-fixing (and renaming) some 'preliminary' and 'under-tested' scripts in the 'VIDEOtools' group over the next year or two or three. And I mentioned that I would have a new release of 'feNautilusScripts' ready in the next 2 or 3 months --- around July or August 2012.

    Well, I made some good progress on some of the more useful 'VIDEOtools' scripts, so I have a new release ready a little sooner than planned. A new release of 'feNautilusScripts' --- dated 2012jun25 --- is posted to the 'feNautilusScripts' download page.

    There are new, more-robust 'VIDEOtools' scripts of the type/function 'CLIP-start-length', 'CROP_Npixels' (top/bottom/left/right), and 'CHGaudioVOLUME'. These scripts accept a movie file (of almost any type supported by 'ffmpeg') and create an output movie file of a container-video-audio format indicated in the name of the script. Examples: MP4-H264-AAC and FLV-H264-AAC and MKV-H264-VORBIS and MPG-MPEG1-MP2.

    There are also some new and improved scripts in the 'FINDlists' group --- some find-BIG-and/or-OLD-files scripts. Current names are:

    • 05_anyfile4Dir_findFILES-BIGGERthanNmeg_allLEVS_find-f-size-ls-sort-awk.sh
    • 05_anyfile4Dir_findFILES-OLD-BIGGEST_allLEVS_find-f-mtime-ls-sort.sh
    • 05_anyfile4Dir_findFILES-OLDEST_allLEVS_find-f-mtime-ls-sort.sh
    • 05_anyfile4Dir_findFILES-YOUNG-BIGGEST_allLEVS_find-f-mtime-ls-sort.sh
    • 05_anyfile4Dir_findFILES-YOUNGEST_allLEVS_find-f-mtime-ls-sort.sh

    The first of these scripts can be used to help find your big space-hog files (ones that you can probably delete) when you are running out of disk space. And the last of these scripts can find recently changed files --- for example, when you are looking for config/preferences files in your home directory that were changed in the last day or two.

    The changes and additions will keep coming --- in the 'VIDEOtools' and 'FINDlists' groups, and in many other groups. I may have a new release of 'feNautilusScripts' ready in the next 2 or 3 months. (I am motivated to make a release when there are significant changes, because I want to keep the versions on my various netbooks updated with the latest capabilities.) So check back here --- around September or October 2012 --- for an announcement of a new release.


  • 2012 May 30:   ( new release of 'feNautilusScripts' )

    In the previous news item (2012apr09 below), I mentioned that I hoped to have a new, 'cleaned up' release of 'feNautilusScripts' posted to the 'feNautilusScripts' download page before the end of May. In fact, a new release of 'feNautilusScripts' --- dated 2012may25 --- is posted to that download page.

    In this new release, I finished sweeping through the 'feNautilusScripts' subsystem to 'cleanup' the scripts --- including changing to the new standardized script-names in the comments of the scripts (see the 2012mar02 news note below on the naming convention), and including standardizing the indentation within the scripts.

    There are about a dozen new scripts. Since the 2012mar01 release of 'feNautilusScripts', the scripts that have been added are mostly in categories within the 'zMORE' group of categories --- the categories that augment the original 11 categories.

    This following image shows 3 menu panels (left-to-right): the usual Nautilus right-click-on-file(s) menu, the FE Nautilus scripts menu pop-out with the original 11 categories, and the 'zMORE' menu pop-out with its 24 added categories. (image as of mid-2012)

    In the 2012apr09 news item, I pre-announced that there will be some new scripts, including a script that makes bootable USB 'sticks' from 'hybrid' CD/USB '.iso' files of Linux 'distros' (distributions).

    More specifically, there is a new 'DVD-CD-ISO-USBtools' group of scripts containing scripts named

    • 01_anyfile_CHG-VOLUME-LABEL-of-USB-FAT-DRIVE_sudo-fdisk-mlabel.sh
    • 02_one-iso-file_HYBRID-ISO-to-USB-DRIVE_sudo-fdisk-l_dd.sh
    • 05_anyfile_DVD-or-CD-to-ISO-FILE_sudo-fdisk-l_dd.sh

    The new 4-part naming convention of scripts gives a pretty good idea of

    • what files or directories they take as Nautilus input,
    • what these scripts do, and
    • the main commands/programs that are used to perform their functions.

    The first script (of the three above) is one that I may use on new USB sticks to change a volume name (like 'Lexar') to include an indicator of its size or its size-and-format (like 'Lexar8GB_fat') --- using the 'mlabel' command.

    The second script (of the three above) is the one that takes a selected CD-USB-hybird '.iso' file and puts it on a USB stick. As the last (fourth) part of the script name indicates, the script uses the 'sudo fdisk -l' command (issued in an 'xterm' window) to provide info on the disk partitions currently available, so that you can determine which is the USB 'stick' that is plugged into your computer --- say, /dev/sdc. And the last part of the script name indicates that the 'dd' command is then used to put the '.iso' file on the USB stick.

    I have used this utility to put several hybrid '.iso' files onto USB sticks --- including a Debian ISO file on one USB stick and an LMDE (Linux Mint Debian Edition) ISO file, for a 'rolling' Linux distro based on Debian, onto another USB stick.

    In the 'HOSTCONFIGqueries' group are a couple of new scripts that can be used in conjunction with the CD-DVD-USB-ISO utilities shown above --- to have quick visibility of the currently available storage devices:

    • 00_anyfile_LIST-HAL-DEVICES-ABBREVIATED_lshal-grep.sh
    • 00_anyfile_LIST-STORAGE-PARTITIONS_xterm-sudo-fdisk-l.sh

    The output of 'lshal' is overwhelmingly detailed. The 'LIST-HAL' script provides an 'abbreviated' listing by using 'grep' to select the more useful lines, according to me (at one time). Of course, you (and I) can edit the script to change the lines selected.

    In a new 'MOUNTtools' group is a script that quickly shows '/etc/fstab' or '/etc/mtab':

    • 00_anyfile_SHOW_SYSTEM-MOUNT-FILES_txtviewer.sh

    I may move this lonely script into a 'HOSTCONFIG' group of scripts someday --- and rename it slightly, say from '-FILES' to '-TABLES'.

    In a new 'VIDEO-PORTSconfig' group are scripts to facilitate connecting my netbooks to an overhead projector or a TV set:

    • 00_anyfil_SHOW_VIDEO_PORTS_xrandr-q.sh
    • 01_anyfil_set-Vidout-to-VGA-OVERHEAD-or-Netbook-Screen_radiolist_xrandr.sh
    • 01_anyfil_set-Vidout-to-VGA-TV-or-Netbook-Screen_radiolist_xrandr.sh

    These scripts provide an alternative to the 'System > Preferences > Display' option of the Gnome 2.x desktop environment --- by using the 'xrandr' command.

    In the 'PDFtools' group, there is a new script that uses the 'gs' (ghostscript) command:

    • 00_1pdfFile_EXTRACT-PAGE-RANGE_gs.sh

    Of course, this won't work if you do not have 'gs' installed.

    In the 'NETCONFIGtools' group, there is a new script named

    • 01_anyfile_ETH-Disconnect-Connect_radio-list_ifconfig-down-up-dhclient.sh

    This script provides an alternative way to quickly shut-down or re-establish a wired-ethernet connection --- an alternative to using a network-manager 'applet'.

    Now that I have 'cleaned up' the internals of most of the 'feNautilusScripts', I will have more time to devote to adding some utility scripts over the next several months --- using the new naming convention and using a fairly consistent indentation methodology. Some of the new scripts may be based on handy command-lines that I see in Linux magazines and books.

    And I will be testing-enhancing-fixing (and renaming) some 'preliminary', 'under-tested' scripts in the 'VIDEOtools' group over the next year or two or three.

    I may have a new release of 'feNautilusScripts' ready in the next 2 or 3 months --- around July or August 2012. So check back here for an announcement of a new release.


  • 2012 Apr 09:   ( notice of a coming change in the 'feHandyTools' system --- and a coming release of 'feNautilusScripts' )

    I have recently discovered that the several directory-navigator/file-selector GUI's in the 'feHandyTools' system 'will fail to stay open' if you navigate to a directory which contains 'symbolic links' (also known as 'soft links') --- IN THE (rather rare) CASE THAT one of the soft links is 'broken' --- that is, if the file to which the link points no longer exists. This can happen if a person renames the target of a soft-link.

    A simple fix, for now, is to replace the 'ls -ApL' command used in a couple of places in the Tk scripts that generate those GUI's. ('ls' is used for blazing speed in filling the listboxes.) Remove the 'L' and use an 'ls -Ap' command to fill the directories-listbox and use an 'ls -Ap' or 'ls -AF' command to fill the files-listbox.

    I plan to make a fix to the GUI's so that they do not fail to stay open (or initially open) when they encounter a 'broken' link. I plan to have the GUI's show the user any symbolic links in the currently navigated-to directory --- in any case --- that is, in case the target of the soft-link is a directory, in case the target of the soft-link is a 'regular' file, and in case the target of the soft-link is another symbolic link.

    I hope to have a new release of 'feHandyTools', one that implements those fixes, available via the 'feHandyTools' Download page within a couple of months --- say before the end of August.

    For now, I plan to continue to sweep through the 'feNautilusScripts' subsystem to 'cleanup' the scripts --- including changing to the new standardized script-names in the comments of the scripts (see the 2012mar02 news note below), and including standardizing the indentation within the scripts.

    Of course, if you need to make one of the file navigator/selector scripts of 'feHandyTools' work in directories containing 'broken' symbolic-links, you can simply edit the script that is failing for you and make the simple couple of changes to a pair of 'ls' commands, as indicated above.

    I hope to have a new, 'cleaned up' release of 'feNautilusScripts' posted to the 'feNautilusScripts' download page before the end of May. There will be some new scripts, including a couple that facilitate the process of making bootable USB 'sticks' from 'hybrid' CD/USB '.iso' files of Linux 'distros' (distributions).

    Many of the Linux distros (LinuxMint, Ubuntu, Debian, ArchLinux, Suse, Fedora, etc.) are starting to make releases of their distros in the form of 'hybrid' '.iso' files. This makes it possible to use a simple 'dd' command to make a bootable USB stick containing a 'live' Linux distro. Well, it's simple after certain preparatory steps are taken. Those steps are taken --- and the proper 'dd' command is issued --- in the new 'feNautilusScripts', to be released soon.

      A 'live' Linux distro is one that runs in computer memory without putting Linux system files on the disk drive(s) of your PC. This makes it possible to try out a Linux distro (or use Linux apps such as web browsers and e-mail readers and media players) on a PC with another type of operating system installed. The 'live' distro does not mess with the files of the currently installed operating system. The PC could be one in a library, in a store, or at a friend's house --- or one of your PC's that has a different operating system on it, such as a different Linux distro --- or a different version (older, newer, whatever) of the Linux distro on the USB stick.

      Linux distros used to be delivered on CD's or DVD's --- and they still are. But USB 'sticks' ('pen-drives', 'thumb-drives', 'flash-drives', whatever) are becoming the better way to go --- more compact, higher capacity, less-easily damaged, re-writable. Those are some pro's. The main 'con': The price per Gigabyte for USB sticks is about 6 times higher (in 2012) than for read-only CD's --- about one-dollar per Gig versus about 16-cents per Gig, when on sale at retailers.


  • 2012 Mar 05:     ( new web page - FE Script Selector )

    At the bottom of the FE Contact page several months ago, I expressed concern about the Nautilus scripts capability being able to weather the storms created by Gnome 3 and Ubuntu Unity developers, as they seem to show no love or appreciation for the Nautilus scripts capabilty.

    I later announced at the bottom of that page that I had devised a 'fallback' solution, in the 'feHandyTools' system, so that I would be able to run the 'feNautilusScripts' even if Nautilus dies an ugly death.

    I realized recently that I have not documented that capability sufficiently, and, since a picture (or 3 screenshots) is worth a thousand words, I offer up this How to run Nautilus scripts via 'feHandyTools' page.


  • 2012 Mar 03:     ( new web page - Installing Nautilus w/o Gnome )

    For those Linux users who do not use the Gnome desktop environment --- for example, users of Xfce or LXDE desktop environments --- I have put together a web page on installing and tailoring the Nautilus File Manager for non-Gnome desktops.

    That web page shows a way that Linux users who do not use Gnome can use the utilities in 'feNautilusScripts' --- namely, by installing Nautilus.

    Another approach --- that avoids the use of Nautilus altogether, yet gives access to much of the functionality in 'feNautilusScripts' --- is to use the 'feHandyTools' system. But many of the 'feNautilusScripts' have not yet been 'ported' to 'feHandyTools'.

    That is a huge project that will be worked on in the 2012 to 2015 time frame. (There are about 450 (!) scripts in 'feNautilusScripts' now, and less than half of them have been 'ported' to 'feHandyTools'. But many of the ones that I use the most have been ported, so 'feHandyTools' can be very useful in its current state.)

      Actually, you can run ALL the 'feNautilusScripts', without Nautilus, via an option in the 'feHandyTools' system. See the description in the 2012mar05 News note above. Hence you can run many utilities either way --- via the 'feNautilusScript' implementation or via the 'feHandyTools' implementation.

    For your reading enjoyment, here is a 'snapshot' listing of the 450-plus 'feNautilusScripts' script names in the '2012mar01' release.


  • 2012 Mar 02:     ( new 'feNautilusScripts' release )

    I have been busy in the past month adding scripts to the 'IMAGEtools' category --- especially the two sub-categories labeled 'imgEFFECTStools' and 'imgANIGIFtools'.

    In the 'imgEFFECTStools' group, I have added scripts that are labeled

    • 1imgfile_toARC
    • 1imgfile_toBADGE
    • 1imgfile_toLAID-BACKperspective
    • 3imgfiles_toCUBE

    In the 'imgANIGIFtools' group, I have added scripts that are labeled

    • 1imgfile_MAKEaniGif_toOIL-PAINTINGandBack
    • 1imgfile_MAKEaniGif_toPIXELATEDandBack
    • 1imgfile_MAKEaniGif_toSWIRLEDandBack
    • 1imgfile_MAKEaniGif_ROTATE360inPlane
    • 1imgfile_MAKEaniGif_ROLLhorizORvert
    • 1imgfile_MAKEaniGif_WAVE_likeFlag
    • 2imgfiles_MAKEaniGif_BLEND_1to2to1
    • 2imgfiles_MAKEaniGif_WIPE_left-right_1to2to1
    • 2imgfiles_MAKEaniGif_LAY-BACKtoFlatAndBackUp
    • 2imgfiles_MAKEaniGif_ROTATE3D_vertAxis

    I have added a few other scripts in some other categories. For example --- by their full names :

    • '00_anyfile4Dir_BACKUP-or-SYNC_curDir_toMediaDir_rsync.sh' ---
      in a 'BACKUPtools' group under the 'zMORE' directory/menu of additional categories of FE Nautilus Scripts

    • '01_anyfile_SHOW_CALENDAR_zenity.sh' ---
      in the 'OFFICEtools' group under 'zMORE'

    • '05_multi-pdf-files_linksDownHTMLpage_echo_for-loop.sh' ---
      in the 'PDFtools' group under 'zMORE'


    AND ... I am VERY happy to announce a significant change to the entire 'feNautilusScripts' subsystem :

    I have finally settled on a naming convention for the scripts --- a naming convention that takes a lot of the variability and inconsistency out of the naming of the scripts.

    The new naming convention is described in an 'feNautilusScripts' NAMING CONVENTION web page.

    The naming convention is based on the following 4-part name structure.

      [part1]_[part2]_[part3]_[part4].sh

    A few examples of the full name are seen in the 'others scripts added' list above.


    You can get the new self-extracting install script, containing all these changes, at the 'feNautilusScripts' download page.


    Additionally : I have swept through about half the scripts cleaning them up internally and putting the new names in the comments at the top of each script. I will continue this 'cleanup' for the rest of the scripts. I hope to have the cleanup done for the next release of 'feNautilusScripts'.

    And I hope to use, more extensively, a lot of the scripts in the 'VIDEOtools' group, before the end of 2012 --- i.e. test them on 'real' projects, with a variety of container and codec formats.


    Eventually, I plan to 'port' a lot of these new 'feNautilusScripts' scripts into the 'feHandyTools' system --- which uses Tcl-Tk GUIs, rather than 'zenity', for the prompting GUIs.

    So you can see, there is plenty of change coming in the 'feNautilusScripts' and 'feHandyTools' subsystems.


  • 2012 Jan 21:     ( new 'feNautilusScripts' release )

    In the previous news item (2011oct23), I mentioned that the 'VIDEOtools' scripts of 'feNautilusScripts' are in need of some tender loving care. For this release, I improved the video 'CLIP' scripts by adding the '-async 1' parameter on the 'ffmpeg' command, to keep the audio and video, in each extracted clip, in sync.

    In the 'IMAGEtools' group, I added many new utilities . For example, I added a new 'imgEFFECTStools' group that includes special kinds of processing of a selected image file, such as

    • OIL PAINTING (makes an image look like a dabbed style of oil painting)
    • PENCIL SKETCH (makes an image look like a gray-scale pencil sketch)
    • PIXELATE (makes an image composed of color squares)
    • POLAROID (makes an image look like a Polaroid print, slightly curled)
    • SHEAR (shears an image)
    • SWIRL (makes a swirled image)

    Several other subgroups were added to the 'IMAGEtools' group:

    • 'imgCOLORtools' (to 'threshold', tint, gray-scale, etc. a selected image)
    • 'imgGENtools' (to make 'gradient' and 'plasma' images of a specified size)
    • 'imgsMERGE-APPEND' (to merge or append 2 or more selected image files)

    Some utility scripts were added to the main 'IMAGEtools' group, such as: GAMMA, RESIZE, and ROTATE.

    My thanks to the developer of the ImageMagick 'convert', 'identify', and 'composite' commands. Those commands are used in most of the FE 'IMAGEtools' utility scripts.

    The 'IMAGEtools' scripts of 'feNautilusScripts' simply make it easy to perform many ImageMagick functions --- via a few mouse clicks, rather than by (mis)typing long lines of commands and parameters. This is the main 'value added' of the 'IMAGEtools' scripts of 'feNautilusScripts'.

    A few other scripts were added, enhanced, or slightly renamed --- in various other tools groups of 'feNautilusScripts'.

    There are still plenty of additions and changes to be made to the 'IMAGEtools' and 'VIDEOtools' groups of 'feNautilusScripts'. So there will probably be at least two more releases of 'feNautilusScripts' in 2012. Check back every few months.


  • 2011 Oct 23:     ( new 'feHandyTools' release )

    At the end of the previous news item (2011oct05), I mentioned that I would, within the next month, release 'feHandyTools' with the 'IMAGEtools' and 'VIDEOtools' toolchests activated. I pointed out that many of the 'IMAGEtools' and 'VIDEOtools' scripts would be ported from the 'feNautilusScripts' subsystem. The majority of those scripts have been ported in this 'feHandyTools' release --- available at the 'feHandyTools' Download page. (On a fast Internet link, the self-extracting install file should download in about 10 seconds.)

    There are so many 'IMAGEtools' and 'VIDEOtools' scripts that they spill over into 'MORE' toolchests for those two categories. In fact, the 'VIDEOtools' toolchest provides another sub-toolchest --- 'VIDCAP-and-CONVERT' --- with some utilities that I have used to make videos demonstrating the installation of the 'xpg', 'feAppMenus', and 'feNautilusScripts' subsystems.

    In coming months, I will be activating some of the 'grayed-out' items in the various 'feHandyTools' toolchests. And ...

    In the process of porting many of the 'VIDEOtools' scripts from 'feNautilusScripts' to 'feHandyTools', I was reminded that quite a few of the 'feNautilusScripts' were released in a preliminary form to get about 98% of the code available, even if, in some cases, the code needed testing on a variety of movie files.

    In other words, the 'VIDEOtools' scripts of 'feNautilusScripts' are in need of some tender loving care. For example, I recently discovered that the 'CLIP' scripts need the '-async 1' parameter on the 'ffmpeg' command, to keep the audio and video in sync. I plan to sweep through many of the VIDEO scripts and put out a new release of 'feNautilusScripts' in the next month or two (or three).

      Several things are slowing down my programming-testing time at this time :

      • Thanksgiving family reunion
      • motherboard fried on my wife's old 2006-era computer ---
        I'm restoring her files to a new computer
      • leaf raking time of year
      • Christmas shopping-wrapping-mailing --- and Xmas cards

      So the next FE releases may be in Jan or Feb of 2012.

    My aim is to get 'feNautilusScripts' and 'feHandyTools' in '1.0'-type shape by the end of 2012. In the meantime, there are plenty of useful scripts in the 100-plus scripts in 'feNautilusScripts' --- and in the similar number of scripts in 'feHandyTools'.

    In the next release of 'feHandyTools', I will probably add more Tcl-Tk demo scripts in the 'PROGRAMMINGtools' toolchest. There are many 'fun' scripts there. Try them out.


  • 2011 Oct 05:     ( new 'xpg', 'feAppMenus', 'feHandyTools' releases )

    At the end of the previous news item (2011sep16), I mentioned that I would review and improve the color-setting code in 'shofil.tk' and other Tk scripts --- such as the FE Font Selector GUI and FE Color Selector GUI --- of the FE 'xpg' subsystem. I said that I would remove any hard-coding that would keep the user from tailoring the Tk GUI window colors. I have done that and there is a new release of 'xpg' at the 'xpg' download page.

    Also, I mentioned that I would review and improve the color-setting logic in 'make_chest.tk' and other Tk scripts of the FE 'AppMenus' subsystem. I said that I would remove any hard-coding that would keep the user from tailoring the 'toochest' window colors. I have done that and there is a new release of 'feAppMenus' at the 'feAppMenus' download page.

    There is no major change to the 'xpg' and 'feAppMenus' system other than the color-setting fixes. The 'xpg' and 'feAppMenus' systems have reached a very mature state, in my humble opinion. They do almost 100% of what I need them to do. Probably any more changes to these systems in the future will be 'cosmetic'.


    There ARE a lot of 'outwardly noticeable' changes in the new release of the 'feHandyTools' subsystem --- available at the 'feHandyTools' Download page.

    Some of the changes:

    • Two new 'PlotQuik' utilities have been added to the 'PLOTtools' toolchest:

      • a bar-chart plotting utility, and
      • a plot 2 or 3 columns of data from a file utility (image below)

      These utilities are in addition to the 3 previously available utilities

      • a pie-chart plotting utility, and
      • a points/lines plotting utility, and
      • a math expression plotting utility

      These latter 3 utilities have been touched up a little --- especially the wording in the plot guidance on the left side of these GUI's.


      Click on this image to see a larger version.

    • The 'CHANGEfiles' and 'EXAMINEfiles' toolchests have been implemented on the main 'feHandyTools' toolchest.

        The 'CHANGEfiles' tools provide some batch file renaming utilities as well as some batch string-within-file changing utilities --- 'ported' from the 'feNautilusScripts' subsystem.

        The 'EXAMINEfiles' files utilities include a couple of differences-between-two-files utilities --- one using 'diff' and one using 'sdiff'. 'diff' shows the differences in an 'over-under' format; 'sdiff' shows the differences in a 'side-by-side' format.

    • A set of about 100 DEMO Tcl-Tk scripts have been touched up so that most of them run nicely on a variety of screen sizes --- from netbooks to desktops. The demos are presented in such a way that you can choose to RUN a demo, SHOW its code, or BOTH. The demos are available via a few mouse clicks on 'PROGRAMMING tools' toolchest drawers in 'feHandyTools'.

      Links to pertinent 'feHandyTools' chest images are here :

      'PROGRAMMING tools' toolchest   >   Tcl-Tk Help Chest   >  
      Tk 'Core' Demos Chest

      Demo categories in the 'Tcl-Tk Wiki' group of demos include:

      • Games
      • 3D demos
      • Animation demos
      • Meter/Dial/Spinner demos
      • Photo app demos (pertaining to galleries)
      • 2D Fractal demos
      • 2D Geometry demos (interactive)
      • Numbers demos (interactive)
      • Programmer Aids

      You will be surprised at the performance of some of these demos. You probably would not expect a script (interpreted language) to be able to rotate a 3D model like the '3D-viewer' in the '3D' category --- or provide multiple, constantly moving objects while responding to game-player actions, like in the 'asteroids' game in the 'GAMES' category. And there are many more demos and games to 'blow you away'.

    The 'IMAGEtools' and 'VIDEOtools' toolchests have not been implemented yet. Many of those scripts, from the 'feNautilusScripts' subsystem, will be ported to 'feHandyTools' in the next release. So check back in a month or two.


  • 2011 Sep 16:     ( new 'feHandyTools' release )

    I have converted one of my old Tcl-Tk file selector utilities to emulate the powerful 'right-click-and-run-selected-script-on-selected-files' capability that the Gnome-Nautilus file manager provides. This makes the 'feNautilusScripts' readily available to users of other 'desktops' --- for example, KDE, LXDE, Xfce, Fluxbox, etc. --- where the user may NOT have access to Nautilus as a file manager.

    I made several other Tcl-Tk file-navigator GUIs and parameter prompting GUIs. I have put those GUIs together, with a lot of scripts ('ported' from the 'feNautilusScripts' system) and with a lot of auxiliary files --- into the new 'feHandyTools' menu system.

    The 'feHandyTools' scripts are available via categories of toolchests, similar to the categories of the 'feAppMenus' system. And, like 'feAppMenus', you can start 'feHandyTools' at a main toolchest (menu).

    'feHandyTools' has an option to run the scripts in 'feNautilusScripts' via a 'toolchest drawer' at the bottom of the main 'feHandyTools' toolchest.

    I have ported about half of the 'feNautilusScripts' to the new 'feHandyTools' system. Some entire categories, like 'IMAGEtools' and 'VIDEOtools', have not been ported yet. Until those are added to the 'feHandyTools' system, the 'feNautilusScripts' versions can be used --- either via a Nautilus file manager --- or, for those who do not use Nautilus, via the new 'feNautilusScripts' drawer at the bottom of the main 'feHandyTools' toolchest.

    Install both 'feHandyTools' and 'feNautilusScripts' and you will have a rich set of utilities available.

    Many of the utilities in the 'feHandyTools' FE subsystem are similar to the utilities in the 'feNautilusScripts' FE subsystem --- except that Tcl-Tk GUIs are used to get user input, rather than the more limited 'zenity' GUI prompting utility that is used in the 'feNautilusScripts'.

    A new 'feHandyTools' description page is now available via the FE Overview page or via the 'feHandyTools' Download page. See the Download page for more description of what is in this release. And see the 'feHandyTools' description page for many interesting Tk GUI images.

      2011sep18 UPDATE: Soon after I released 'feHandyTools', I found that some of the GUIs are not adopting the 'common' GUI color, which is settable by the user. I found that I need to remove some color-overriding code that I accidentally left in the 'make_chest.tk' script. The code has been there for over a year --- since I first released 'make_chest.tk' in 'feAppMenus' in 2010. Sorry about that. I have been too busy adding scripts to 'feNautilusScripts' and in developing 'feHandyTools' to devote time to carefully reviewing basic, 'core' FE Tk scripts like 'make_chest.tk' and 'shofil.tk' --- especially the color-setting logic. That logic was not a high-priority in the past year.

      I will review and improve the color-setting logic in 'make_chest.tk' and 'shofil.tk'. The color corrections should appear in the next release of 'feHandyTools' --- and in color-fix releases of 'feAppMenus' and 'xpg'.


  • 2011 Aug 05:     ( one FE install for many users, a 'how-to')

    After some recent tweaks to the underlying directory architecture of the FE subsytems, it is now a good time to describe how the FE subsystems can be installed in a multi-user environment so that one copy of each subsystem can serve many users.

    A new 'one install for many users' web page is now available to describe how to do such an install for the several FE subsystems

    • 'xpg'
    • 'feAppMenus'
    • 'feHandyTools'
    • 'feNautilusScripts'

    Even if you are not a system or application administrator who would be tasked to do such a thing, that web page can give you an insight into the generalized file architecture of the FE subsystems. In other words, you can go to that web page to answer many questions about how the directories and files of these subsystems are structured --- and why.

    If you are an application developer of applications that are amenable to (and benefit from) a 'one-copy-for-many-users' install, then you may find the techniques and file-architecture descriptions on that web page worth reviewing.


  • 2011 Aug 01:     ( new FE subsystem - 'feHandyTools' )

    A new FE subsystem -- 'feHandyTools' --- was released today. It is a preliminary release. Many of the categories toolchests (menus) are not implemented yet in that release. Those category names appear, grayed-out, in the main 'feHandyTools' toolchest. But the 'PLOTtools' and 'LinuxHELPS' toolchests are implemented.

    The 'feHandyTools' subsystem is being released in this preliminary form to make available the several 'PlotQuik' tools that have been implemented in easy-to-use Tk GUIs:

    • pie chart GUI
    • point/line plot GUI
    • math expression plot GUI

    The 'feHandyTools' system will, in future releases, provide access to many utilities similar to the ones in the FE Nautilus Scripts system.

    This 'HandyTools' system might be an option for people who do not use the Nautilus file manager, and who don't want to take the time to tailor the FE Nautilus scripts to work with another file manager --- or tailor them to work via other startup methods.

    The 'FE Handy Tools' download page is accessible via the FE Downloads page. See the 'PlotQuik' images at the top of the 'FE Handy Tools' download page.


  • 2011 Jul 31:     ( new releases of 'xpg' and 'feAppMenus' )

    New releases of the 'xpg' and the 'feAppMenus' subsystems were posted on their respective download pages. Those download pages are accessible via the FE Downloads page.

    There are no major outward changes in these two subsystems --- just an 'internal' architectural change to help make the two subsystems more independent of each other, so that one can be installed without the other being installed.

    The details: There is a new subdirectory, 'common', of the '$HOME/.freedomenv' directory --- to hold the 'set_FEDIR.shi' and 'set_feDIR.tki' 'include' scripts. These 'include' scripts are used in the 'xpg' and 'feAppMenus' startup scripts to get the installation directory of the FE subsystems. Also, the 'fefontsel' and 'fecolorsel' scripts use those include scripts.

    The '$HOME/.freedomenv/common' directory replaces usage of the '$HOME/.freedomenv/feAppMenus' and '$HOME/.freedomenv/feXpg' directories --- although those two directories are still created in the install process of 'xpg' and 'feAppMenus', to hold backup copies of the 'set_FEDIR.shi' and 'set_feDIR.tki' 'include' scripts.

    Now scripts like 'xpg', 'fefontsel', and 'fecolorsel' can be updated in the 'xpg' subsystem and copied into the 'feAppMenus' subsystem for use there --- or vice versa --- without having to change '$HOME/.freedomenv' subdirectory names. Those changes are easy to forget to do --- and were not totally done in the 2011jul15 releases of 'xpg' and 'feAppMenus'. The new architecture should make such an oversight much less likely.


  • 2011 Jul 15:     ( new releases of 'feNautilusScripts', 'xpg', 'feAppMenus' )

    New releases of the 'feNautilusScripts', the 'xpg', and the 'feAppMenus' subsystems were posted on their respective download pages. Those download pages are accessible via the FE Downloads page.

    Main changes in the 'feNautilusScripts' '2011jul15' release:

    • The scripts that accept multiple filenames have been updated with a new 'for-loop-without-in' technique that is explained on the 'feNautilusScripts' download page. This was done to accomodate files whose names have spaces embedded in their names.

    • The 'CHANGEfiles' group of scripts, which had been (accidentally) missing from several previous releases, has been provided in this release.

    • Several scripts have been added in various categories and several scripts have been renamed slightly.

    Changes in the 'xpg' '2011jul15' release (minor changes) :

    • To accomodate the smaller screen size on netbooks, the previous release (2011jun12) made some logic changes to a 'set_widget_fonts' 'defaults/preferences' file in order to set a smaller font for the 'xpg' text area widget than the font used for desktops. (On desktops, vertical screensize is typically at least 100 pixels greater than the 600 pixels typical on netbooks.)

      This release adjusts that default text-area font size upward a little. The size set in the previous release was probably a little too small, on netbooks and other 600 pixel-high screens, for most people.

    • The 'FE Font Selector' GUI has been changed slightly to show the number of pixels-per-point being used in your installation of Tcl-Tk. This helps you know what to expect if you choose to specify a font size in points rather than pixels, or vice versa.

    Changes in the 'feAppMenus' '2011jul15' release (minor changes):

    • To accomodate the smaller screen size on netbooks, the previous release (2011jun12) reduced the numbers of line items ('drawers') in some of the toolchests (menus) and made a logic change in the setting of the font size for the font used in the button widgets that make the 'drawers'.

      This release adjusts that default font size for the drawers upward a little. The size set in the previous release was probably a little too small for most people.

      As a result of this font change, some of the toolchests were too large for netbooks. Those toolchests had example, 'grayed-out' drawers that were intended to make people aware of some applications that they might want to install or investigate. Some of the grayed-out drawers were removed so that the toolchests would fit on netbook screens without control buttons at the bottom of the toolchests being off-screen.

    • The 'feAppMenus' subsystem has its own copy of the 'FE Font Selector' GUI --- and its own copy of the 'FE Color Selector' and its own copy of 'xpg' --- in case someone installs the 'feAppMenus' subsystem but not the 'xpg' subsystem. Like in the 'xpg' system, the 'FE Font Selector' GUI will now show the number of pixels-per-point (the conversion factor) being used in your installation of the Tcl-Tk 'wish' interpreter. (A 'point' is one-72nd of an inch.)


  • 2011 Jun 13:     ( new releases of 'feNautilusScripts', 'xpg', 'feAppMenus' )

    New releases of the 'feNautilusScripts', the 'xpg', and the 'feAppMenus' subsystems were posted on their respective download pages. Those download pages are accessible via the FE Downloads page.

    The new release of 'feNautilusScripts' was largely prompted by many improvements in the 'VIDEOtools' group, as I have recently been using (and enhancing) scripts there while improving the audio in movie files on the new FE VIDEOS page.

    I have been cleaning up the audio in those movies, and, in the process, I have developed 'EXTRACT-AUDIO', 'REMOVE-AUDIO', and 'ADD-AUDIO' scripts that aid in getting the audio track out of a movie --- to edit in an audio editor, like 'audacity' ... and then, to put the audio track back into the movie.

      (Video editors like 'kdenlive' and 'openshot' are too crashy to rely on --- either during editing or at the save step. Furthermore, they do not give enough control over the quality/size trade-off when loading or saving the movie. And they do not come close to the audio editing capabilities of 'audacity'.)

    Some 'VIDEOtools' scripts have had '_PRELIM' added in their names, to indicate that, although they may work on some video files, the code may have to be enhanced to support a wide range of video-audio-container formats of movie files. The 'CHGaudioVOLUME', 'CROP', 'CLIP', and 'ReINDEX' scripts have been given the 'PRELIM' designation.

      (In addition to the '_PRELIM' scripts, there are some other 90%-developed scripts in several 'TEST' subdirectories of the 'VIDEOtools' sub-directories --- that is, in some VIDEOtools sub-categories.)

    In conjunction with these 'VIDEOtools' updates, I have added four new viewer/editor variables to the 'set_VIEWERvars' shell include file of FE Nautilus Scripts. The new variables are AUDIOPLAYER, AUDIOEDITOR, MOVIEPLAYER, and MOVIEEDITOR. Those variables are used in a few of the 'VIDEOtools' scripts now, and they may be used in more of the 'VIDEOtools' scripts in the future.

    A reminder: To tailor the viewer/editor variables in the 'set_VIEWERvars' shell include file, you can right-click on any file when in Nautilus, and in the 'Scripts >' menu, choose to run the 'zEdit_VIEWERvarsFile.sh' script in order to tailor the FE Nautilus Scripts viewer/editor variables.

    In addition to the 'VIDEOtools' changes, some scripts in other categories have been renamed slightly (for clarity) --- and a few scripts have been added.

    The main changes to 'feAppMenus' and 'xpg' were motivated by the fact that I do development on a desktop machine, and I test the install scripts by downloading them to a netbook. This revealed that the 'xpg' GUI and some of the larger 'toolchests' of 'feAppMenus' were a little too large for a netbook with a screen height of 600 pixels.

    'xpg' now checks the height of your screen and sets the initial (opening) height of the 'xpg' GUI to be 80% of the screen height. (There are several ways you can change this, if you want.)

    The size of the 'feAppMenus' toolchests is determined mainly by the font size used for the text in the toolchest 'drawer' buttons. Some code has been added to the 'set_widget_fonts' Tk include file that sets the default fonts. That code checks the screen height and uses a somewhat smaller font if the screen height is less than 700 pixels.

      (Of course, in the REALLY, REALLY open FE subsystems, you can change anything, since the source is all there. In this case, you can edit the 'set_widget_fonts' Tk include file to change ANY of the font settings in that font control file --- and the easy way to do the editing is via the 'EditVars' button on the right of ANY of the toolchests.)

    In addition to the changes in the 'set_widget_fonts' include file, some changes have been made to the 'set_widget_apps' include file. All the names of the apps, in commented example lines as well as in 'active' lines, have been fully-qualified --- for example, '/usr/bin/gedit' instead of 'gedit' --- and '/usr/bin/scite' instead of 'scite'.

    Futhermore, some image, audio, and video player/editor variables have been added to the 'set_widget_apps' include file. These variables are not used yet in any of the delivered 'chestdef' files, but the variables are there to support additions or changes that you or I may make in the future to the toolchests.

    One other change: The 'FE Font Selector' is used in both the 'xpg' and the 'feAppMenus' subsystems. Its GUI has been changed slightly to show the special characters of a font in a slightly different order --- and in three lines, with 11 special characters in each line.


  • 2011 Jun 01:     ( new release of 'feAppMenus' )

    A new release of the 'feAppMenus' subsystem was posted on the 'feAppMenus' download page --- to provide a couple of minor changes.

    The fully-qualified name of executables are now provided in all the 'chestdef' files that define the 25-plus 'toolchests'. For example, '/usr/bin/firefox' is used rather than simply 'firefox'. This is a 'best practice' that reduces a little bit of unnecessary processing --- because the operating system does not have to figure out in which directory the executable is located.

    Also, there are some minor changes in the font selector GUI. For example, in the sample text area, the line of digits and the line of special characters have been broken up into multiple lines. This can help in determining whether a font is fixed-width ('monospaced') or variable-width ('proportional').


  • 2011 May 28:     ( new release of 'xpg' )

    A new release of the 'xpg' subsystem was posted on the 'xpg' download page. This 2011may28 release was mainly to fix a horizontal-scrolling problem that would occur following reading files with very long lines into the text widget of the 'xpg' GUI.

    This has never shown up as a problem on my Ubuntu 9.10 development machine in reading many different types and sizes of text and text-binary files, in the several releases of 'xpg'. But after doing an install on a computer running Ubuntu 10.10, the 'xpg' window disappeared, shall we say, when horizontal scrolling on certain files with very long lines. (Some briefly flashing messages indicate 'AppArmor' may be involved.)

    In order to assure that 'xpg' can avoid problems with handling files with very long lines , a new file-reading procedure is now used in 'xpg'. (A 'line' is the characters delimited by line-feed control codes --- or the beginning-of-file or end-of-file.)

    Now, if you use 'xpg' to browse a file with lines longer than about 1,000 bytes (the equivalent of about 100 to 150 columns in a spreadsheet), those long lines will be truncated and there will be a 'truncated' indicator phrase at the ends of such lines. (The data in the input file is not touched. Only the data that is loaded into the text widget [i.e. into memory] may be truncated.)

    A 2011may03 news notice below indicated that 'xpg' employs a read-More/Stop-reading/Exit dialog prompt to handle input of huge files into 'xpg'. That essentially provides a means of limiting the amount of data that the vertical scrollbar has to deal with. We now have a means of limiting the amount of data that the horizontal scrollbar has to deal with.


  • 2011 May 28:     ( new release of 'feNautilusScripts' )

    A new release of the 'feNautilusScripts' subsystem was posted on the 'feNautilusScripts' downloads page. This 2011may28 release was mainly to fix a couple of file permissions errors --- on the 'VIDEOtools' directory and on a 'PLOTtools' PDF file of the 2011may17 release. These permissions errors were causing the install via the self-extracting script to be incomplete. A few new scripts have been added in several categories.


  • 2011 May 20:     ( new release of 'xpg' and 'feAppMenus' )

    New releases of the 'xpg' and 'feAppMenus' subsystems were posted on the 'xpg' download page and the 'feAppMenus' download page, on 19 and 20 May 2011.

    There were no feature changes in the GUIs or their functionality from the 3 May 2011 releases --- just changes related to ease-of-installation and some underlying 'file architecture'. Namely ...

    In these new releases, the 'xpg' startup script and the 'feAppMenus' startup script will be accessible via links in $HOME/apps/bin with the pathnames

                  $HOME/apps/bin/xpg
                  $HOME/apps/bin/feAppMenus
            

    This will allow install-people to avoid using the long pathnames to the startup scripts :

                  $HOME/apps/feXpg_yyyymmmdd/scripts/xpg
                  $HOME/apps/feAppMenus_yyyymmmdd/scripts/feAppMenus
            
    where yyyymmmdd represents a release date and $HOME represents your (the installer's) home directory.

    An install-person can proceed to set up

    • a command alias
    • a desktop icon in your desktop environment
    • a Gnome upper-panel quick-launch icon (or other desktops' equivalent)
    • other launch methods in the Nautilus (or other) file manager

    by using either of these types of pathnames, short or long. But by using the short script names

                  $HOME/apps/bin/xpg
                  $HOME/apps/bin/feAppMenus
            

    the install-person does not have to deal with changing the 'yyyymmmdd' release-ID in the install directory names whenever a new release is installed. Subsequent releases should be 'good to go', without dealing with changing aliases (in .bashrc files and the like) and without changing command names associated with launch icons.

    When there is a new release of 'xpg' or 'feAppMenus' to install, you can simply proceed to do the install. Then, if you like, you can make sure the link file

                  $HOME/apps/bin/xpg
                  $HOME/apps/bin/feAppMenus
            
    has been changed to point to the 'xpg' or 'feAppMenus' startup script, in the new yyyymmmdd installation directory:
                 $HOME/apps/feXpg_yyyymmmdd/scripts/
                 $HOME/apps/feAppMenus_yyyymmmdd/scripts/
            

    (You can use the 'ls' command or your file manager to check the links.)

    One other feature of the new releases:

    If you have installed the 17 to 20 May 2011 releases of the 3 FE subsystems --- 'feNautilusScripts', 'xpg', and 'feAppMenus' --- you will find that there are 3 corresponding sub-directories under the $HOME/.freedomenv subdirectory :

    • $HOME/.freedomenv/feNautilusScripts
    • $HOME/.freedomenv/feXpg
    • $HOME/.freedomenv/feAppMenus

    It is the purpose of these subdirectories to hold 'shell include scripts' --- with the suffix '.shi' or '.tki' --- that are used to set the install directory name of the FE subsystem, in an environment variable. The various scripts in those 3 FE subsystems call on these 'shell include scripts' (that is, these 'include files' for shell scripts) when the various FE scripts need to know the install directory.

    To keep a minimal amount of code in the $HOME/.freedomenv subdirectory, those install directory variables are the only variables set in those include scripts. Any other FE variable setting is done in scripts (or 'include files' for scripts) in the install directories of those FE subsystems.

    The only time you might need to change one of those 'shell include scripts' under $HOME/.freedomenv might be for 'feNautilusScripts', as described in the 2011May17 note below --- that is, possibly for migration from Gnome2 to Gnome3.

    The '.shi' and '.tki' include files under the 'feXpg' and 'feAppMenus' subdirectories of $HOME/.freedomenv do their work automagically. Hopefully, you will never need to touch the code in those '.shi' and '.tki' files.


  • 2011 May 17:     ( new release of 'feNautilusScripts' )

    A new release of 'feNautilusScripts' was posted on the downloads page for that FE sub-system. This release is to prepare for a possible location-change of the nautilus-scripts-directory, which may come with Gnome 3. This release also has many improvements in the 'VIDEOtools' group. And the 'PLOTtools' group has been started with a couple of scripts based on 'gnuplot'.

    Many of the FE Nautilus Scripts need to use the location of the Nautilus Scripts directory --- currently $HOME/.gnome2/nautilus-scripts. That directory name was hard-coded in many scripts. A major change in this release is a new way of specifying that directory --- in an environment variable that is set within a single 'shell include' script.

    Now, if the 'nautilus-scripts' directory location changes, in relation to the new Gnome 3 being released in 2011, I/you can make the change in a single file. Furthermore, if other file managers, besides Nautilus, implement a similar select-file(s)-and-launch-script capability, it may be possible to use the FE Nautilus Scripts in those file managers simply by moving the FE files to the appropriate directory and specifying the appropriate location of the scripts directory, by changing the directory name in one file. That file is in the directory $HOME/.freedomenv/feNautilusScripts.

      In fact, this technique can be used to move Gnome2-based FE Nautilus Scripts --- this release and future releases --- to a new 'Gnome N' Nautilus environment. [Don't make me a liar, Nautilus developers!]

    An additional benefit:
    This new scripts-directory-variable-setting method will allow for painless re-organization of the SUB-directory structure of the FE Nautilus Scripts, if a re-organization is ever deemed advisable. I/you simply move the subdirectories around, however I/you want.

    In addition to this new scripts-directory-variable-setting feature, many additions and improvements have been made in the 'VIDEOtools' group. In particular, a new 'VIDCAP_CONVERT' group has been added --- and tested as I use new video-capture and convert scripts to make the movies on the new FE VIDEOS page.

    The 'PLOTtools' group includes some sample input files for the new 'gnuplot' tools --- including a world-population-growth data file.


  • 2011 May 03:   ( new releases of 'xpg', 'feAppMenus', 'feNautilusScripts' )

    New releases of 'xpg', 'feAppMenus', and 'feNautilusScripts' were posted on 2 and 3 May 2011.

    There were a couple of fixes of 'small', essentially non-show-stopping issues in the 'xpg' and 'feAppMenus' subsystems --- namely:

    • Fixed a small vertical alignment problem, of the rows of drawers and separators --- mis-alignment between the left side and (normally hidden) right side of the feAppMenus 'toolchests'.

    • Fixed a variable name that was keeping an 'xpg' dialog window from popping up when loading a huge file to browse. The dialog allows the user 3 choices: stop-loading(-and-browse), continue-loading, or exit. This mis-name issue only affected the browsing of huge files.

    Many new scripts were added to the 'feNautilusScripts' set of 20-plus scripts categories. Some additions and changes were made in the 'AUDIOtools' and 'EXAMINEfiles' categories, as well as in other categories. Many of the scripts have been renamed to a lesser or greater degree.


  • 2011 Jan-Feb :

    Another set of releases of the 'feNautilusScripts', 'xpg', and 'feAppMenus' subsystems were posted at freedomenv.com.


  • 2010 Aug-Sep :

    The first releases of the 'feNautilusScripts', 'xpg', and 'feAppMenus' subsystems were posted at freedomenv.com.

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